Co-founder of Petfinder.com
Betsy Banks Saul is the co-founder of Petfinder.com, the largest online database of adoptable pets and the No. 1 pet-related site on the Web according to Hitwise. With a vision to change the way the public views shelter pets, Betsy and co-founder, Jared Saul, harnessed the infant technology of the Internet in 1996 and molded it into one of the most successful e-businesses to date. Petfinder.com, which Betsy describes as a Social Profit company, is on a mission to see that no pet is euthanized for lack of a home and ensure that pets are elevated to the status of family members. In this corner of the Web, currency is “lives saved” and profitability is measured in increasing the effectiveness of the shelter and rescue worker. With 15 years of consistent and steady growth, even in the face of the turbulent “dot bomb” and recession years, translates to more than two million adoptions annually and more than 17 million adoptions overall. Betsy was recently named by Woman's Day magazine as one of “50 Women Who Are Changing the World."
In 2006, Discovery Communications acquired Petfinder.com in what Ad Age magazine called one of the "best (and sweetest) acquisitions of the year." Betsy continues to serve Petfinder, focusing on strategy, partnerships and public relations.
Betsy has been working with and volunteering for animals since she was a teen. She worked as an urban forester for the State of New Jersey, as an agriculture extension agent at Rutgers University, as a park ranger at Wrangell-St. Elias National Park in Alaska, and as a field scientist for the Army Corps of Engineers in South Carolina. Betsy received her M.S. in forest ecology at Clemson University. Her work has always emphasized collaboration and consensus building.
Betsy prides herself for having friends in high and low places, so her family includes diverse pets such as three horses, seven chickens, a guinea hen, two goats, a sheep, two guinea pigs, two cats and a dog.